A few weeks ago, Mary Robinette Kowal posted an idea to Google +. For the entire month of February, write one letter a day. It can be as simple as a postcard, or a quick scribble, or it can be a lengthy missive; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that each day, you sit down and write out something and the put it in the mailbox. In an age where the majority of communication is electronic, getting anything but spam or a bill in the mail is always a bit of a shock. So sending someone a handwritten letter (or postcard) would be a fun surprise for the recipients. It took off, it got picked up all sorts of sites (newspapers, the US Post Office, etc.), and she created a site to collect all the information together, where people could interact, make plans, and share ideas.
I pondered for a bit. I used to write letters, years and years ago, back before the age of computers and email and Twitter and Facebook and all the other ways we all communicate these days. But I stopped doing it, mainly because email is so much easier. My handwriting – never very beautiful to begin with – has gotten worse the less I use it, and these days I can type so much faster than I can write (Plus the bonus of typing is that it is virtually guaranteed that I can *read* it later. Not so much with anything hand written).
But then I decided. Why not. Getting any letters written at all, even if it isn’t one a day, is still better than my current record (in case it wasn’t obvious from the above, these days that would be a big fat zero).
Of course, there is the issue of finding people to whom to write. So if you’re interested in doing the challenge, go here and sign up. If you want to exchange a letter directly with me, send me an email to jenipurr at gmail dot com with your mailing address. And even if you don’t sign up, or don’t intend to write a letter every single day, why not take this month as an excuse to write at least one letter. It can be to anyone at all. Just try to send at least one, and see where it takes you. You might brighten someone’s day.
I can’t promise that I’ll get letters out to everyone, especially if I end up with more than 29 people on the list. But I can promise I will try. You might get a story about Rupert (the cat who is smarter than his own good and also immune to trauma) and his latest escapade. You might get a short little blurb about something I’m knitting, or the latest awesome recipe I found, or something else entirely. Who knows – there’s 29 days in February, so by the end I might be really struggling to come up with something more witty than ‘well. it rained today.’ But I’m up for the challenge. How about the rest of you?